I drive the rest of the way back to I10 and through Texas, maybe 50 or so
miles, and go to the welcome center on the other side of the freeway. It is
very small, very noisy & the visitor’s center has just closed, as it is sun
down and I witness another spectacular sunset that stretches over the vastness of the
I parallel park in line with the employee parking, which seems to
be just barely more secluded parking in this small lot. I confirm with the “24 hour security” guy that it
is okay for me to park there, and settle in to eat my quinoa & sweet potato
as I crack open Patricia Cornwell’s new book! I’m in heaven!
Shortly before midnight, and shortly after I've torn myself away from Patricia Cornwell & fallen asleep, someone bangs jarringly on my
truck. Only police and military bang this way. I grrrrrr, growling who is
trying to scare the shit out of me. My door is open, with the screen closed
& latched, making it simple for someone to call to me – but this asshole is
banging on the side of my truck like he’s splitting rocks.
It’s the new shift guard. White, blond, male, young, tattooed,
buff, military stand & hair cut. I should have grabbed my siren and blared
it into his face, but I tell him he didn’t have to bang like that. He claims
I’m blocking traffic, tells me he needs me to move. NOW.
When I point out I am in a
legitimate - and security guard sanctioned - space, he protests tractor trailers are going to be coming in soon
and will need to pull out early in the morning. He claims I’m in the way.
I’m in a legitimate parking place, I reiterate. A dark
place, quiet as can be in this funky rest stop. I go to the bathroom. On my way
back I point out to him his mistake: 18 wheelers can easily pass by me – if
they can’t, they shouldn’t be driving.
He insists I move; I insist I will stay, rest for a few more hours
& then move. He swaggers over & attempts to tower over me, which isn’t
so difficult as he’s most likely 5’9 or 10”. Then he threatens to call the
police on me.
I continue to my truck, read so I can return to sleep. He
comes once again to attempt to get me to move, with a flashlight this time,
that he attempts to shine into my camper, my eyes.
I have my own flashlight I shine thru the screen door into
his face. I tell him as politely as I’m able to muster after being rudely
awaken at almost midnite and ordered by some twerp with a badge to move, that I will move in a few hours when I’m ready. He threatens
the police again & I tell him I welcome them, as he is harassing me and I'd love to report his harassment to someone here in Texas.
I read until after 3am, sans police, and then hit the road.
I go just a few miles across the texas border to the beautiful Louisiana welcome
center, which is deserted and very quiet & I wish I would have come here in
the first place! grrrr